The government has revealed that it expects its end user device framework, which forms a core part of its CIO ICT Strategy, to cost the public sector up to £175 million.
A prior information notice states that the government is looking for guidance and is "keen to understand the current and future market for desktop services, including commercial options to deliver best value and technological approaches suitable to government needs along with, scalability for government."
Responses to the request for information should be returned to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 July 2012 and entitled "Desktop Transformation RFI".
The Government End User Device Strategy details that there are currently over 600,000 end user devices being employed across central government, but there is no common definition of desktop across departments. Some refer to just physical devices, whilst others include services such as email and collaboration.
The government is looking to establish a minimum set of standards, which aims to deliver cost savings by separating the business application being used from the physical hardware device. This should eliminate vendor lock-in and allow reuse of applications across all devices and all departments.
The strategy reads: "This minimises the amount of testing every time a new application is deployed or an existing application is updated."
"Standards will be specified to abstract applications from the operating system and isolate each application from other applications, whilst maintaining necessary interactions. This creates a structure that enables more flexibility around device usage, whilst keeping application deployment and integration costs low."
The document also states that departments will not need to wait until existing contract end dates to adopt the End User Device Strategy, as government will engage with suppliers to renegotiate contracts.